Applications are invited for a paid creative exchange and research opportunity for 3 dance artists based in Northern Ireland and 3 dance artists based in the Republic of Ireland.

About this project:

Dance Ireland and Theatre and Dance NI, in collaboration with Dr Aoife McGrath (QUB) and Dr Victoria Durrer (UCD), are undertaking a research project funded by the Co-Operation with Northern Ireland funding scheme within the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

‘Dance Conversations’ addresses a need articulated by professional dance artists at the Co-Motion Dance Conference in October 2019 and in the March 2021 Dance Think Tanks Report for collaborative development of North/South creative exchanges and better understanding of the shared living and working conditions of dance artists across the island of Ireland.

The project will curate conversations between pairs of artists working on each side of the border that will explore their shared working experiences through dance performance and discussion. These ‘Dance Conversations’ will be presented and shared to public audiences through online events and a documentary dance film co-directed by Mary Wycherley and McGrath, as well as serve as a complement to Dance Ireland’s research on working conditions being carried out in the forthcoming ‘Dance Counts’ whole sector survey, led by Dance Ireland.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for professional contemporary dancers / dance artists / choreographers who are currently working on the island of Ireland. Participants need to be available to participate in all elements of the research project, contributing to the creation of a short documentary dance film in August 2021, and, if available, participating in an online, public engagement event in September/October 2021. We require 3 dance artists based in Northern Ireland and 3 dance artists based in the Republic of Ireland. We welcome applicants at all career stages.

What will you do?

The Dance Conversations project provides dance artists with an opportunity for deeper reflection on questions raised by the Dance Ireland survey through embodied engagement and a process of sharing and collaboration with fellow artists.

  • 6 selected dance artists (3 from Northern Ireland and 3 from the Republic of Ireland), will be paired with a cross-border partner.
  • Chosen artists will be offered questions about their working lives to which they will respond independently through danced responses. These responses must be filmed and be between 5 to 10 minutes in length.
  • Each dance artist will then share their completed film with their partner dance artist from across the border and engage in an online, audio recorded meeting in which they discuss the movement responses created, the process and labour involved in producing them, and wider questions regarding the shared nature of working in dance on the island.

The materials from these films and conversations will be combined to create a short documentary film co-directed by Mary Wycherley and Aoife McGrath. This film will be screened at online public events sharing insight to the research and raising awareness of the working conditions of dancers working on the island of Ireland. The film will also be made available in an open access online archive hosted by Dance Ireland, that will share the outcomes of this research, and the Dance Counts survey.

The selected dance artists will be invited to attend and contribute to one of three public events, which will take place between mid-September to mid-October. As the Dance Conversations are more limited in terms of the number of dance artists who may take part, these events will facilitate engagement with a broader public of dance artists, programmers, and producers. With each event focusing on a different theme of shared experience, they will serve as further avenues for conversation on the issues revealed in both the Dance Conversations and the Dance Counts survey.

All project conversations, meetings and events will be conducted online using the Zoom platform.

Project Schedule:

  • Week of 3 August 2021. Initial online project meeting (2hrs max) to discuss technical requirements and guidelines with Mary Wycherley and the project researchers.
  • Between 3 August and 20 August 2021. Recording of short, individual dance films and sharing of these with cross-border partner. Recording of conversation with cross-border dance partner. Dance films and conversation recordings uploaded to Dropbox by 20 August deadline.
  • September/October 2021. Attendance, where possible, at online public events to support the dissemination of research findings.

Note: To facilitate artists with other work or caring commitments, participants are free to complete the project tasks at times that suit them best anytime between 3rd and 20th August. The overall time commitment to the project, including preparation, will not exceed one working week.

We can only consider applicants who are available within this timeframe.


Each artist will receive a fee of €1,150/£1,000. This fee covers all necessary preparation, self-recording of a short dance response, and participation in a recorded conversation with a cross-border partner.

How to apply:

Please complete the  online application form and send a copy of your CV to

Deadline for applications: 10am on Monday 26 July, 2021.

A shortlisting process will be completed by Dance Ireland, Theatre and Dance NI, and the project researchers by 29 July and outcomes will be communicated by end of business on 30 July. Please note, in order to create pairings that will facilitate a sense of shared discussion, all the applications will be viewed collectively.

If your application is successful, you will need to confirm your participation to us by 10am on Tuesday 4 August.

Please let us know if you have any additional access needs by emailing , or calling Dance Ireland at 01 855 8800